Are the majority of your customers within 50 miles of your business location? Do you prefer to work with local customers or businesses? Do you want to increase the number of local customers doing business with you? I’m guessing you just answered “Yes” at least twice and most likely three times. Yet, why do you spend all your efforts marketing your website to the entire world? Why not focus your efforts on your local audience? There are several positive reasons to market local:
Travel less to do business.
If you have a storefront where you are selling products, local customers are most likely to be the ones driving to your location. If you provide a professional service, there is less distance required for meetings or service calls. Less travel means less gas and thus fewer expenses. By being a local business you now become convenient as well.
Build a local awareness of your company, products and services.
In a more local target audience, it is much easier to build brand awareness. People talk all the time. Why not have them talk about you? Get involved locally through Chambers of Commerce or other business organizations. Become a locally renowned business that everyone knows about. When a potential customer is in need of your services/products you want to be the first name to come to their mind.
Lower your advertising costs.
If you are advertising local, there are several ways to save on advertising. A smaller audience typically will cost you less. Your local Chamber of Commerce is a great way to advertise to other businesses if you are a B2B company. If you are doing paid advertising online with Google or Yahoo, localized keywords are much less expensive (ie. auto mechanic vs Brookfield auto mechanic).
When you compete on a national or global scale, you are potentially competing against thousands or even millions of other businesses offering the same products/services you have. Why not compete locally instead against a handful of other local companies- lowering your competition and raising the potential of your website being listed at the top of search engine results.
Spend a little time and think about who your ideal client would be. Someone local who knows you already? Someone who will speak highly of you to other potential (local) customers? Someone who isn’t just price shopping the web but looking for a long-term business relationship?